Princes Bay Light

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Princes Bay Light
Light house, Prince's Bay, Staten Island.jpg
Princes Bay Light is located in New York
Princes Bay Light
Location Staten Island, New York
Coordinates 40°30′27.7″N 74°12′48.3″W / 40.507694°N 74.213417°W / 40.507694; -74.213417Coordinates: 40°30′27.7″N 74°12′48.3″W / 40.507694°N 74.213417°W / 40.507694; -74.213417
Year first constructed 1864
Deactivated 1922

The Princes Bay Light is a lighthouse on the highest point of the southern shoreline of Staten Island, New York, in the Pleasant Plains neighborhood. It is situated on an 85-foot (26 m) bluff overlooking Raritan Bay with an attached brownstone cottage which served as the lightkeeper's house. The bluffs are part of the southern terminal moraine formed by the Wisconsin Glacier which receded 10,000 years ago.[1]

The current lighthouse was constructed in 1864 for the sum of $30,000 which was approved by Congress. The attached lightkeeper's cottage was completed in 1868.

The Princes Bay Lighthouse was deactivated in August 1922 after the installation of acetyline lights in Raritan Bay made the former lighthouse obsolete. The Mission of the Immaculate Virgin at Mt. Loretto, a Catholic orphanage founded by Father John Christopher Drumgoole, purchased the lighthouse, the cottage and an additional outbuilding in 1926.

In 1953, a rear range light was put up on Mt. Loretto, southeast of the lighthouse. The United States government paid $32 per year to lease the small parcel of land from the mission.[2]

The lighthouse, the bluffs and 145 acres (59 ha) of surrounding upland and 49 underwater acres (20 ha) were purchased in 1999 from the Archdiocese of New York by New York State and the Trust for Public Land. The area, now known as the Mount Loretto Unique Area, is open to the public and maintained by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The lighthouse cottage currently serves as the residence for park rangers.


  1. ^ Benimoff, Alan I. (October 4, 2012). "The Geology of Staten Island". Geology at CSI. College of Staten Island. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
  2. ^ Northeast Lights: Lighthouses & Lightships, Rhode Island to Cape May, New Jersey by Robert G. BachandPublisher: Sea Sports Pubns (September 1993) Language: English ISBN 0-9616399-4-6